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of the tensions between religion, and the spot we picked on, dare i say, was israel and then to some extent egypt. and we wanted to go to israel in particular because there isn't such a diverse cultural environment in terms of religion, so that the tensions are, in some senses, watered down. as we all know, unless you've been meditating in a cave for the past 20 years, israel and the social environment in israel is very tense in terms of the relationship between the three great faiths that actually share something of a cultural tradition- judaism, christianity, and islam. and so what we- we have an extraordinary opportunity, and something like a great risk. i'm surprised david ainsworth, our executive producer, hasn't come out and read this e-mail message i sent to him about three days before we're ready to go on this journey. we planned it of course for several months. we're talking about a crew of at least six people- a lot of preparation, and of course, at the time when we were set to go was one of the worst possible times in terms of the tension; you know, again, another flare-up between the
accompanying bonaparte as chief science advisor on the 1798 military expedition to conquer egypt. fourier was apparently so impressed by the well-preserved sarcophagi that he kept his rooms uncomfortably hot for visitors while also wearing a heavy coat himself. the heated problem that fourier took on in his famous memoir, on the propagation of heat in solid objects, was the problem of heating and cooling of our earth, our own cycle of temperatures. the french mathematician developed his understanding of heat flow in terms of newton's law of cooling that says that the movement of heat between two bodies is proportional to their temperature difference. translating this to the infinitesimal scale of temperature differences between infinitely close positions in an object gives the famous differential equation called the "heat equation." in fourier's solution of the heat equation, he found these periodic solutions of sinusoids mirroring the cycle of teeratures over the year as the accumulation of periodic effects, such as the regular orbit around the sun and the daily spinning of the earth on
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